Modern Medicine: Advanced Radiation Therapy - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Modern Medicine: Advanced Radiation Therapy

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Bay County, Fla. -

A treatment originally designed for head and neck cancer is now showing promise in breast cancer patients.  That's according to Dr. Hasan Murshed from Hope Radiation Cancer Center.

Patient Becky Valakis was diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 2012.  She had surgery to remove a lump and then went through radiation at the Hope Radiation Cancer Center.

"We have a machine that can do what we call Intensity Modulated Radiation Treatment technique.  With the new technique, I don't see the skin reactions any more.  They don't require high doses of pain medication, and they don't need a break from radiation treatment," explains Dr. Murshed.  

This is also known as IMRT and helps minimize side effects by focusing the radiation directly on the tumor site.  This spares other structures, like the heart and lungs, from being exposed to high doses of radiation. 

Valakis says it was an easy process and not painful.  Dr. Murshed says the Hope Radiation Cancer Center is also designed with special artwork and paint colors to promote a healing environment.

He says, "It has been proven to reduce the stress and anxiety in the patient. They feel more relaxed, and that helps them recover faster."

"They fixed me.  They fixed me very well," says Valakis with a smile.  She has completed her radiation treatment and feels great.  

Valakis encourages other women to do their routine breast cancer screenings because her cancer was found during an annual mammogram.